Fix the stiffness. For back & hamstrings

If you have a stiff lower back or tight hamstrings, try the Roll Back & Reach.

This exercise is typically used as a warm up activity. But due to its ballistic nature, this exercise should be performed after your warmup. (Your limbs should be loose before you get all up in this one.) Alternatively, it can be used as a “break” during high intensity workouts. For example, 10 burpees, 10 split jumps, 5 roll to reach, repeat.

Focus area: hamstrings, lower back, groin/inner thigh
Improves: flexibility and mobility of the focus areas

Please remember to only do this exercise after you have warmed up. Otherwise, you will injure thine secret parts. And, you don’t want that. You don’t.

Also, if you work with kids or teens, this is a good exercise for them. There’s enough “fun” to distract them from the work. Don’t you dare tell them how effective it is, it’ll ruin the fun.

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the best place for runners in bangkok

outdoorgymbangkokBangkok is crowded. It’s smelly. It’s seedy. It’s my favorite city in Asia.

When I was there, I loved the accessibility, the authenticity, the variety, and the grit. But, the air quality? Not so much. As a runner, I was frustrated. I couldn’t find clean air and I couldn’t find other runners. But I wasn’t going to give up. Every day, I took a 30 minute train to a different park. I needed to find my people. I did.

If you’re a runner looking to escape the smog and see a tree, look no further. I found the best parks in Bangkok for running, exercising, and other healthy activities.

where to run and workout in Bangkok

Lumpini Park. It has everything: running, tai chi, yoga, and dance aerobics. Geezus, the aerobics. There are literally hundreds of people engaged in a mashup of zumba, twerk, and jazzercise. It’s amazing. If you’re a runner, the dance classes are a perfect distraction. You’ll be entertained every lap. Details: The running loop is 2.5km. The park is located near mrt and bts; silom, saladaeng, and lumpini. Pros: big, lots to do. Cons: not centrally located.

Benjasiri Park. This crowd is fit. You’ll see running groups, parkour guys, and a lot of skin. They also have an outdoor gym equipped with machines, barbells, and more skin. For runners, this is a good place for interval repeats, but be prepared to zig-zag between the crowds. Treat it as agility training. Details: The running loop is 0.75km. The park is located a 15 minute walk from sukhumvit mrt. Pros: centrally located. Cons: small; crowded

Chatuchak Park. This is the biggest and most scenic place to run. You don’t have to jostle for space and you’re surrounded by trees. It’s also the best place to have a picnic or rent a bicycle. And, there’s a butterfly garden. You’ll forget you’re in Bangkok. Details: The running loop is 3km. The park is located at morchit bts; chatuchak mrt. Pros: trees; space. Cons: not centrally located.

Gyms. I didn’t visit any gyms because they required lengthy memberships. But I did find Maxfit who offered drop-in classes and a free trial class. **If you know a great gym or fitness camp in Bangkok, let me know. I’d love to visit and write about my experience.

Lessons Learned:
1. Use frustration as motivation.
2. Find your people.
3. Focus on the good.
4. Always focus on the good.

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Fitness. For your brain.

brain fitness angel stoneCurrently, I’m working on mental fitness because I’ve been feeling dumb. Taking extra long to figure out how much change the taxi driver owes me, forgetting the wifi password as soon as I get it, not knowing my real age.

I’ve never done brain puzzles so this will be a single-speed bicycle going uphill. But I’m excited to see how it sparks other areas of my life. Also, I did not plan my outfit to match the book. I swear.

Want to increase your brain power? Is it possible? These resources will get you thinking.

The top apps to train your brain.

Can you make yourself smarter? A controversial NY Times article.

A ted talk on how to learn anything.

Brain games are a waste of time? What do you think?

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no equipment? no problem. let’s work out.

3rdoption+workouts+travelAfter 2 years of backpacking through Asia, I’m an expert on exercising anywhere. I’ve done workouts in hostels, on farms, in stairwells, on balconies, and in bathrooms. Again, an expert.

Will you be traveling soon and staying in a hotel? Is your gym sad? Do you work from home and need to turn your coffee table into a calorie burner? Are you in prison???? No problem.

I’ve compiled a plethora of body weight workouts you can do anywhere. No more excuses. Remember, always start your workout with a juicy warmup, like this or this. Get your fitness on, baby. I’m watching you.

WORKOUTS FOR HOME AND TRAVEL

The ultimate stair workout. Your whole body will wobble.

A 20 minute workout specifically designed for the hotel room.

Not too hard but hard enough. A quick, energizing workout.

If you’re tired of doing pushups, squats, and lunges, this doesn’t include any of them.

3 advanced workouts inspired by capoiera.This is fantastic.

Step up your ab game with 15 core exercises.

The prisoner workout. Amazing exercises for really, really, small spaces.

The quiet workout. So moms can take advantage of nap time.

For my crossfitters. Vacation WODs.

College student? Build muscle from your dorm room.

10 exercises to do on vacation.

A workout for people who don’t eat.

If your knees bother you, this routine won’t.

This HIIT workout takes 12 minutes.

A black belt teaches you balance and flexibility.

For the legs and butt. My favorite parts.

Did you drink the p90x koolaid?

For the booty. You’ll need 5 minutes and a kettlebell.

Want to improve your core? A gymnast tells you how.

Hip openers via this gentle yoga video.

28 exercises you can do on vacation. Some include your suitcase. I love this.

I’ve given you everything you need. Questions? Need me to yell?

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afros for breakfast

Ah. 2011. When my afro was big and my shyness was small. 2016. My afro is mini and I’m awkward in front of the camera. What happened! Anyway, this oldie but goodie is still relevant. I still endorse this high protein breakfast. Just had some today. You?

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confessional: it’s about the croissants

angel+stone+emotionaleatingYou ate two croissants and you didn’t even want them. But you were anxious and nervous and worried. About everything and nothing. And so to stop your mind, you chewed. You chewed, and mindlessly chewed, until there was nothing left. And then you ate another one, because, well, we’re already here.

Now, you feel sick to your stomach. And mad. You’re not mad about the croissants. You’re mad because the croissants didn’t taste good. You’re mad because you ate them anyway. You weren’t even craving croissants. But there they were piled in the baked goods section begging to solve your problems. And you took the bait. Again.

Now, you hate yourself. Because bad croissants make you hate yourself. Good croissants don’t do that.

-notes from my journal

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Highlights: quitting travel, flint michigan, the myth of willpower, and chakra yoga

treeupI’ve been traveling for more than 2 years and I’ve decided to stop. Yep, 2016 will be my last year as a renegade traveler. Not permanently but for now. I want the same bed, a kitchen with a blender, a dog. Or a man.

It’s been an incredible journey. I have a bazillion stories for you and I’m ready to share them. But first, here’s some brain food.

10 things they won’t tell you about Flint, Michigan. Makes me want to stay in Asia.

Hotline Bling read by Bryan Cranston.

One of my favorite chakra yoga routines.

Are your friendships working for you? 9 signs you’re in bad company.

An honest piece on being a vegan.“Many runners run for the joy of running. Many vegans, since coming to this diet, have discovered a love for food and cooking they didn’t know existed. But neither of these describes me. For me, both running and veganism involve personal sacrifices — sacrifices that are worth it, but sacrifices nonetheless.”

Teens around the world skype each other.

The record that changed Raekwon’s life.

I keep hearing about Brommer’s soap. If it’s this good, somebody buy me some!!!

Willpower will help you make the decision to start a program, and it will help you keep going if you don’t see results at the start. Willpower will not bring you success. That’s because willpower is a finite resource. No amount of willpower alone will make you get up every morning to run if you hate running. The myth of willpower.

And always walk on the sunny side.

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